Leaves of Absence, Withdrawal, and Re-Entry

Planning for a Leave of Absence:

Saybrook University requires all students to be continuously enrolled throughout each academic year. A Leave of Absence (LOA) is a temporary interruption in a student's program of study caused by an extenuating circumstance. LOAs are not required for institutionally scheduled breaks (such as holidays or time between semesters), but scheduled breaks may occur during LOAs. Please see the academic catalog for the full Leave of Absence (LOA) Policy.

Why Take a Leave of Absence:

There are circumstances that may arise that make it necessary or advisable for a student to interrupt their studies. Examples may include:

  • Health issues
  • Commitments with employment
  • Professional opportunities
  • Addressing family/personal obligations

There are also circumstances that require students to miss class(es) for a few days due to an illness or a family/personal emergency. In these situations, it is critical that you notify each of your faculty of the absence as soon as possible. We also encourage you to connect with your Academic Advisor so we can help support navigating your unique situation. Students are expected to make arrangements for completing any missed assignments with their faculty. In many cases, a brief absence with open communication will not prevent you from successfully completing the semester.

A Leave of Absence (LOA) must be arranged before the term/semester you plan to be away from the program. In some instances of serious illness or injury, a student may not be able to finish the semester and will need to consider withdrawing. Please reference the academic catalog for more information about Saybrook's Withdrawal Policy.

If you are unsure whether your situation requires a Leave of Absence or a withdrawal, or have questions about where to start, please contact your Academic Advisor or Department Chair for further guidance.

How a Leave of Absence (LOA) Will Affect You:

  • Saybrook University Services: Students cannot use any other Saybrook resources, including faculty time, or facilities until they return from Leave.  While on Leave, students are still required to comply with the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Saybrook Email and Student Gateway Access: During a Leave of Absence, students retain access to their Saybrook University-issued student email and library services.
  • Financial Aid: Students are required to complete counseling with a Financial Aid advisor before taking a Leave of Absence. You will also need to contact the Financial Aid Office to reinstate your aid before returning to the program.
  • Federal Work-Study Students: Students eligible for the Federal Work-Study program cannot continue employment while on Leave of Absence.
  • Accessibility Accommodations: Students with accessibility accommodations will have no changes to approved academic accommodations while on Leave of Absence. If you need to make changes before returning from Leave, you are encouraged to contact ADA Services before resuming classes.

Academic Advising:

Your Academic Advisor will contact you once priority registration opens to begin planning for your return from Leave of Absence. Your Advisor is your point of contact for determining your curriculum/course requirements, receiving an updated copy of your program plan, and securing your class registration.

  • College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences Students: BOOK HERE
  • College of Social Science Students: BOOK HERE

Returning from a Leave of Absence:

Students returning from a LOA will return to the same place in their program of study, with the same enrollment status, number of credits, and academic standing as when they began their leave. Saybrook will not assess the student for any additional institutional charges upon return from a LOA.

If a student does not return from the leave on or before the expected term/semester of return, then the student will be administratively withdrawn from the University. The withdrawal will be recorded with an effective date of the start of the Leave of Absence. Please see the Withdrawal Policy for more information. ​